Exposure to lead paint (lead-based paint), which was widely
used in many homes and apartments before 1978, can damage the body's organ
systems, especially the brain, nervous system, kidneys, and blood.
Small children often like to chew on objects. These objects may have lead paint. When
crushed or broken down, lead paint may contaminate dust and dirt in the
surroundings. Children who live and play in these areas may absorb or ingest
lead. This increases their risk for learning disabilities,
behavior disorders, slowed growth, and impaired hearing. Some toys and jewelry
made in other countries have been found to contain lead paint.
In adults also, lead poisoning can cause serious health problems, including high
blood pressure and damage to the brain, nervous system, stomach, and
A blood test can measure the amount of lead in the blood.
This test can be done for people who are concerned about their exposure to lead
or who show signs of lead poisoning.
John Pope, MD - Pediatrics & R. Steven Tharratt, MD, MPVM, FACP, FCCP - Pulmonology, Critical Care Medicine, Medical Toxicology